Dear Jil, economics is what’s delaying your wedding not malice. It’s pure economics. Your future in-laws can’t afford the wedding. They’ve hinted and even voiced it but you’re not paying attention. If you want to marry, it’s better to address their concerns, or they’ll keep postponing the wedding. This is the second postponement, and though I understand your unhappiness, the fact remains they have an economic challenge.
Look let’s be honest, weddings CAN be expensive. And they can even be more expensive in Nigeria. A notable wedding in Nigeria can cost upwards of $40,000. That’s a lot of money in any currency. And that’s the official cost as you well know. There are a lot of social bleedings by the side e.g. “spraying” money. Spraying money sounds like an insecticide. It is economic Baygon, economic Raid, to ward off social shame. An unwise sprayer of money will feed on garri, the granulated cassava staple of low nutritional value for months!
There are expense headers allocated to your groom and his family in the wedding budget. Your future in-laws are telling you they can’t afford the wedding budget. And they’ll keep postponing the wedding because of the incidence of social opprobrium. They don’t want to look like beggarly elements in the church, or at the reception. They don’t want to be second-class citizens to your family. Your family can afford the wedding, they can’t. As it is, they’re probably wondering why of all the girls in God’s good earth their son chose a rich girl to marry. And since he ferreted out a rich girl he should also ferret out the money for the marriage. So goes the unspoken logic.
But really what do you want them to do? Borrow to give you a wedding? And who suffers after the wedding? Your fiancée has younger brothers and sisters. How will they take care of those after the wedding? The whole issue is thus about commonsense, economic lack and prioritization of resources to them. And their pride as a family will not allow them to accept sponsorship from your family. It’s like a handout. Not sure many in your family will respect them after. And some people are going to be reckless with words some day. That’s the way these things function, so if you keep insisting on an expensive wedding your future is going to be delayed.
I’m explaining how things are to you so you have understanding. With all thy getting, get understanding. You need wisdom if you want to move ahead. Wisdom is the principal thing. Why don’t you scale back on some aspects of the wedding, reach an understanding with your family, explaining the dilemma to your dad and asking for his guidance. Your mum I know has all these grand planning- she’s perfected them, the socials in particular. You can’t blame her. In African culture it’s as much your day as hers. She’s of course picked “aso-ebi”- the homogenizing uniform for the day for friends and family. These are not school uniforms. They’re expensive high-grade fabrics. Usually in your custom both sides wear uniform materials though differing. But your in-laws can’t afford to match your side!
It’s not just your in-laws who have to manage societal expectations. Your father too! Your dad is an important member of society. There are expectations of him, and you’re his first daughter. I know he’s already promised you a car as wedding present. If he has his way you’ll live in one of his houses. If the wedding is not of a certain scale there will be social disappointment. He’s a big man! The answer lies somewhere in the middle of the extremities of social validation required of your in-laws and your parents. How you balance the relative lack of your in-laws with the affluence of your parents, is the issue in question.
Perhaps you should consider a simple wedding at the registry. Or something modest and private. Wait, I’m not through… Only immediate family members should come to that registry wedding. A very simple reception can follow. This way the lack of your in-laws will not be apparent to all. Their exposure is limited to a select few. And the select few are of course understanding, or they would not have been invited to that intimate scale. That way you achieve marital status without embarrassing anyone with the grandness of a societal wedding. But then your father can decide to hold a “Thanksgiving Service and Reception” at which he can expend his riches. Since it’s not the wedding proper your in-laws are under less obligation. And they will not be caught in the web of societal expectations. It’s a thanksgiving. Your father can flaunt his riches, satisfy his friends, live up to expectation, but outside official “wedding”. And your groom will be happy. He’s married his sweetheart. He’s now son-in-law, practically your dad’s son. So it’s all in the family, like family holding a reception for family by family. His parents don’t need to stay all through. They can make an appearance and leave when they feel like. If your groom can, he should buy them attire for the event from monies saved so they don’t look poor at the party. That expense is far cheaper than the cost of a full-blown wedding. And the excuse for the new arrangement is that both bride and groom insist on a small wedding; but deferred in honour to your dad hence thanksgiving party. You’re not going to be in wedding attire. It’s an unconventional arrangement, rather creative, but isn’t wedding ceremony itself, just convention!
God recognizes marriages based on culture and convention, not whether you marry in church. This way, you get your wedding, your in-laws get to cover their shame, your parents get flamboyant expression, your groom is not ashamed of his parents’ lack of means and everyone eats rice in peace. You can vary these suggestions as you deem fit; the most important thing is everyone is satisfied. You balance out everyone’s concern. You avoid acrimony.
This is my little penny. I do wish you the best in your marriage.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org